I had been back in Oregon for one week before I was able to get out on my first, big hike. I was chomping at the bit to say the least. My friend Ben picked me up at a Max station damn near in Bend, and we quickly realized the original plan might be a bit too much today.
We were looking to hit a waterfall hike on the Washington side, but the combination of steep trails and snow was not giving us confidence in the choice. We called an audible and got off at the Eagle Creek exit, which turned out to be the best choice for the day. I had done this trail once before, but had never seen it like this.
The snow, and a few landslides had changed the look of the trail since I was last out there. The trail, which was narrow in some parts, was extremely narrow now, and the snow was not helping with traction. There were even signs posted as a lookout trail and essentially been wiped out, so fun times ahead.
On our way back out we saw several people in casual or tennis shoes and it was insane. Both of us were in boots and bit it at certain points. Nothing bad, just a misplaced foot in some of the slicker snow. However, I can’t imagine how far they got in that footwear.
We went about two miles in and down into Punchbowl Falls, which was the most challenging spot of the hike. It was well worth it though, as the existing snow on the ground and the falling snow made for an awesome scene. Unfortunately we couldn’t see the whole falls as the rocks in the creek were a bit unstable and not suitable for attempting pictures.
It was a great reintroduction to Oregon and the PNW and it really made me feel like I was home. My focus is obviously elsewhere, but I am not going to hesitate to take these opportunities when they arise. It’s why I fell in love with this place from the start, and what made me want to come back so badly.